New Dean and Head of Research Centre at Wittenborg
As from the start of the academic year 2011-2012, Teun Wolters will function as the new Dean of Wittenborg Business School. Besides overseeing the programmes Wittenborg offers, Teun will also be involved in starting up a new research centre: the Wittenborg Research Centre.
This new research centre (Wittenborg Research Centre) will deal with research in the field of e.g. sustainable entrepreneurship and sustainable energy. Besides experienced specialists, graduating students will be concerned with the centre. They will conduct research for their graduation project (lasting six months), while Wittenborg will make sure all individual graduation projects will connect to one another. Like this, a usable knowledge-base for the region (Apeldoorn and the ‘Stedendriehoek’ area – Apeldoorn, Deventer, Zutphen) will be built up. Teun Wolters: “The research which will be carried out will be of great use to local business in the Apeldoorn area. An example would be to setting up innovative projects which will facilitate a greener Apeldoorn. Next year, Wittenborg will start a new programme in which a lot of attention will be given to sustainable entrepreneurship: ‘MSc International Business & Management’”. In this programme, students will follow courses such as ‘sustainable entrepreneurship’, ‘sustainable innovation’, ‘business ethics’, and ‘socially responsible entrepreneurship’.
Wolters’ vision is to look strategically to the level of sustainability within business. According to the dean, especially the small and medium enterprises are not that well-prepared for the future in this area: “The world population is increasing, production is rising, but the earth will not grow along”, he says. “We want to advise companies on how to facilitate the necessary sustainability within their business conduct.”
Teun Wolters studied economics at the VU (Vrije Universiteit) in Amsterdam, where he obtained his PhD in the field of labor issues, and worked at e.g. TNO for a few years. At TNO he came into contact with scientific environmental issues. “Within the Wittenborg Research Centre, I want to work together with professional researchers and operate on the border of science and practice”, he says with an inspiring tone. “And it is my task as dean to safeguard the scientific quality of education.” Since Wittenborg is a private institution, it can set stricter demands when it comes to the intake of new students. “We do not want a mentality that a 6 (C-) is enough in this institution”, he determinedly states. “Students who come here must have a certain ‘drive’. There is a lot going on at Wittenborg and a lot is possible. The lines are short.”
At the moment, Teun is worried about the limited student housing in Apeldoorn. He would really like to turn Apeldoorn into a student city. Many students who study at Wittenborg return to their country of origin once graduated, to apply the acquired knowledge to e.g. a family business. Wolters also strives to keep alumni in the Netherlands, and especially in Apeldoorn. “It should be possible to get foreign students, who have already followed some form of technical education, to the Netherlands”, he says. “They can strengthen Dutch business.”